"Real Housewives" Star Reveals Scary Ozempic Side Effect That Sent Her to the Hospital
The RHONJ star warns fans to be aware of weight-loss drug complications.
Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jennifer Fessler is the latest Bravolebrity to candidly speak out about her experience with semaglutide—and it's not all positive. The celebrity weight loss drug, sold by various drugmakers as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro, has become a star in and of itself, with many Real Housewives coyly attributing their new slim figures to the miracle drug.
Earlier this year, Fessler's co-star Margaret Josephs admitted to Insider that she'd been taking weekly injections of GLP-1 agonist to "lose weight" and "improve metabolism." Her RHONJ co-star Dolores Catania revealed on Page Six's Virtual Reali-Tea podcast that she was medically prescribed Ozempic after being diagnosed with a thyroid issue and entering menopause, both of which can make it harder to lose weight.
And it's not only the women of New Jersey: Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Heather Gay made headlines this week, when she shared that she's "on the Ozempic train," but hasn't seen significant results.
Fessler has spoken about her Ozempic use before, but recently gave more details. On the Dec. 4 episode of her Two Jersey Js podcast with RHONJ co-star Jackie Goldschneider, who has publicly condemned Ozempic, Fessler disclosed her weight loss since hopping on the semaglutide bandwagon.
"I have been on, and I'm not going to call it Ozempic—that's been the umbrella name. But I've been on semaglutide for over a year now, and I've lost maybe 22 pounds," Fessler said on the podcast.
The reality TV star explained that the weight-loss treatment allowed her to "eat what I want even when it's not the most healthy choices and still lose weight," which was a "new experience." Fessler noted that she was losing weight while still enjoying "pizza and bagels and ice cream" and "eating no vegetables." However, her diet eventually caught up with her when she began experiencing a serious bout of constipation.
While many are quick to recommend the miracle weight-loss treatment, Fessler wants to remind fans that it's important to read the fine print and to never ignore side effects. If left untreated, these complications could require emergency medical intervention.
"I'm not afraid of Ozempic and I will tell you I have had an experience that was not good—and I'm pretty positive it was about the semaglutide—where I had to go to the hospital for an impacted bowel," Fessler said on the podcast.
Later in the episode, Fessler confessed that she was "to blame" for "ignoring" her body's reaction to the prescription. She reasoned that her hospitalization could have been avoided altogether had she been more proactive about it.
Constipation is a known side effect of Ozempic, and in most cases can be resolved with the use of over-the-counter laxatives, per GoodRx Health. But left untreated, constipation can turn into fecal impaction, which requires medical attention.
"I noticed there was constipation, I didn't do anything about it," Fessler told Goldschneider. "I wasn't taking Miralax, that you take every morning, or any kind of stool softener."
"I hadn't gone in a week, then it was a week and a half," she added.
But since getting her impaction treated and changing her ways, Fessler has had a much more positive experience with the weight-loss drug.
"Physically, I feel a lot better in clothes," she said. "When I'm not in clothes I look 90 because I have gone up and down by more than 20 pounds in my life … so there is a lot of skin that exists now when you lose muscle and fat."
Looking toward the future, Fessler said she is working with a personal trainer to build strength and muscle.
"Again, I have to take responsibility for that in the sense that, you know, you don't put on muscle when you just lay horizontal on your bed eating chips. It doesn't work like that," she acknowledged.